The banks were fined by the European Commission in the amount of 1.07 billion pounds sterling after traders came together to fix the currency market.
Four banks in the Banana Split cartel ̵
Three more banks in the Essex Express cartel – Barclays, RBS and MUFG – were fined for EUR 258 million
The Sixth Bank, UBS, was released from financial sanctions for the disclosure of the existence of cartels.
The European Commission stated that market falsifications took place from 2007 to 2013.
Investigating the Commission, which began in September In 2013 it was discovered that some individual traders, using online chats, exchanged trading plans and from time to time coordinated their trading strategies.
Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said that the behavior of banks undermines the integrity of the sector at the expense of the European economy and consumers.
RBS stated that its share of € 249 million fines was "fully covered by existing provisions." Barclays also said it had allocated money to cover a fine
Similar fines for manipulating foreign exchange markets were introduced in 2014 by the regulators of Great Britain, the USA and Switzerland.
Circles of trust
"Most of the traders involved in chat rooms knew each other on a personal basis," the Commission said.
"For example, one chat chat was called Essex-Express jimmy, because all the traders, but James lived in Essex and met on a train to London.
" Some traders set up chat rooms and then invited each other to join, relying on their trade activity and personal contacts, creating a closed circle of trust
Other chats were used by Semi Grumpy Old Men, Two and a half men and only Marge.
Information traded by traders , concerned:
- Outstanding customer orders (customer names, currencies and amounts)
- Prices that o apply to specific transactions
- Open positions in different currencies
- Other details of current or planned trade
Their chats allowed them to make informed market decisions on whether to sell or buy currency they had in their portfolios and when "Said the Commission.